How to Cope With Returning to Real Life After a Lockdown
Emerging from quarantine, you may feel like a bear coming out of hibernation. After weeks of uncertainty, self-isolation, and worldwide panic, returning to reality can be difficult.
Now that the lockdown is ending, you may need an appropriate reintegration strategy. Here are a few ways you can cope with the possible negative fallout of returning back to real life.
Some people thrive on the notion of reintegrating with others, and they can adapt very quickly. For those of us who are not like this, this can make us feel like there is something wrong with us and further exacerbate our anxieties.
But the truth is—many people struggle to return back to normal after a stressful life event, such as the coronavirus pandemic. This is common in people who suffer from adjustment disorder.
Even among people who have perfect mental health, the pressure to return back to “normality” can lead to conditions such as anxiety and panic attacks.
Give Yourself Time to Settle
Most of us have gone through a huge amount of change in the past few weeks. It is normal to feel like your cage was rattled.
In fact, the ones who are able to return to a blueprint of our previous lives with ease are most likely in some sort of denial. Do not expect too much of yourself in the following weeks or months. Go slow.
Set Short-Term Goals
If you had big plans before the coronavirus outbreak, you don’t have to start working on them as soon as you get out of lockdown. Put them aside for now.
While you adjust, you can draw your plans in tighter. In the beginning, stick to small, short-term goals. As you hit each tiny milestone, make sure to celebrate your progress.
Put together a list of simple pleasures you’ve been missing out on in the past few months. You can include restaurants you want to check out, places you want to travel to, and friends you want to visit.
What are the things that are you missing at the moment? Try to capture them on your list.
Slowly Reintroduce Your Old Routine
Your daily routine probably looks different from what it once did. Ease back into your old routine as you are preparing to go back to work or school. Go to bed at the same time you used to and set the alarm for the time you would normally get up.
Do your hair and get dressed for work even if you are not returning to the office straight away. During the week, focus on chores.
And, just as you used to, create a sense of relaxation time for weekends. All of this can make you feel confident in your ability to readjust.
If you are a remote worker, consider what routines helped you make things more dynamic and streamlined before the lockdown. If you had to do away with some of them, now is the time to start re-establishing them.
Review Your Priorities in Life
The pace of life under lockdown suits those of us who enjoy our “me” time as we are less pressured to socialize. When it comes to your personal life, this is a good time to think about what makes you happy and review your priorities.
However, for some of us, reviewing our priorities is a must because of the negative effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on our finances and health.
But, if you’ve had to take a pay cut or your business has slowed down, there are steps you can take to improve your financial situation. If you make an effort to sort out your priorities on a financial level, you may be able to return to your previous lifestyle sooner than you think.
Pick Your News Sources Carefully
It’s important to stay informed, especially during times like these. However, it is also important to be careful where you read your news. There are a lot of bombastic headlines and wild conspiracy theories floating around these days.
Don’t let rumors and speculation make this more difficult for you. Turn to reliable news sources that reflect facts. In fact, you can switch off from watching or reading the news altogether if they make you feel anxious.
Information overload can easily contribute to feelings of anxiety. Many of us turn to our screens hoping for escape but they often just make things worse. Instead of spending too much time on your phone or computer, do things that can boost your mood, such as writing, reading, drawing, or baking.
Make Sure You Have Support
If things get really tough, don’t be alone with your struggle. If you have good friends, family, or a partner, keep them close. Talk to your loved ones whenever you are troubled by something.
Open conversations are good for mental health. Ask the people around you how they are feeling. If the lockdown has caused a conflict in your relationship or family, be sure to talk through it.
I’m Rebecca, a translator and avid traveler, a book worm and horror flick enthusiast. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draftgives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.